KITCHEN TIP | USING PIE DOUGH SCRAPS

If your pie making endeavors leave you with some leftover pie dough, put it to good use.

DECORATE YOUR PIES

Roll your scrap dough out to a 1/8" thick circle. Don't worry about the shape being a perfect circle. Use tiny cookie cutters or create freehand shapes with a knife. 

Add detail to your cutouts with sugar or spices (these acorn caps are dusted with cinnamon) or use the back of a knife or toothpick to make lines or add texture. If your decorations will be used to adorn a single crust pie, like Pumpkin, place them on a parchment lined baking sheet and refrigerate for 15 minutes before baking. Bake along with your pie for 8-14 minutes, depending on size, or until golden brown. Watch them carefully - they can burn easily!

For double crust pies, use a bit of water or cream to "glue" the cutouts onto the top crust of the pie before baking. 

Arrange cooled cutouts on your cooled pie. These are great for masking any blemishes that occur during baking (like on this pumpkin pie where foil stuck to the top, leaving a big divot)

MAKE SOME SWEET OR SAVORY TREATS

Roll your scrap dough into a 1/8" thick circle and spread with softened butter. 

Sprinkle or spread with anything from Cinnamon + Sugar (our favorite) to Raspberry Jam for something sweet or Parmesan Cheese and Herbs for something more savory.

Cut the circle into thin wedges as you would a pizza. Roll the wedges up starting at the wide end. 

Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet and bake along with your pie or separately in a 350F oven for about 15 minutes, depending on their size, or until golden brown and nicely puffed up. 

Let cool before enjoying - if you can resist!

Savory filled roll-ups make a snack alongside cocktails. 

 

KITCHEN TIP | MAKING A DOUBLE CRUST PIE

A classic double crust pie is simple to make with a few tricks of the trade.

FOR A DOUBLE CRUST PIE

Avoid these classic pie making pitfalls for stress-free baking.

. Make sure your dough is the right temperature - too cold and you'll be frustrated by cracking dough, too warm and you'll have sticky, melty dough that doesn't hold it's shape. Be sure to leave your dough at room temperature for 20-30 minutes before rolling out.

. Keep your surface and rolling pin well floured to prevent sticking and ease transfer of the dough into the pie plate. A large silicone mat like this one makes rolling pie dough (as well as cookie dough, biscuit dough and more) super simple. It's one of our favorite baking tools!

Using a well floured rolling pin on a well floured surface, roll the dough out to a thickness of just over 1/8". Start from the center of the round of dough and roll outward, changing your angle with each roll. First roll up to 12 o'clock, then down to 6 o'clock, out to 3 o'clock then 9 o'clock. Rotate the dough a one-eighth turn and repeat until you reach the correct thickness. Sprinkle your work surface and the top of the dough as needed as you roll and flip the dough over every few passes.

Fit the rolled out round into your pie plate, making sure that the dough fits snugly against the sides and bottom and there are no gaps or air bubbles. 

Trim any overhanging pie dough flush with the edge of the pie plate. Spoon in your pie filling. Avoid pouring in any accumulated juices.

Roll out the second round of pie dough into a circle several inches bigger than your pie plate. Gently and loosely roll the dough back onto your rolling pin.

Lift the rolling pin and position the dough on top of the pie filling, unrolling as you go. 

Trim overhanging dough to be about 1-1/2" larger than the pie plate then tuck the overhanging top crust under the bottom crust.

Crimp the edge with your fingers or a fork to seal. Decorate as desired.

For a shiny or sparkly finish on your top crust, brush the dough with cream or 1 egg yolk beaten with a bit of water or cream. Sprinkle with sugar, if desired. 

 

KITCHEN TIP | BLIND BAKING A PIE SHELL

Pies with especially wet fillings like quiches and custard pies as well as pies to be filled with pre-cooked fillings (such as chocolate cream pie) require the pie shell to be baked prior to filling. You'll often see this referred to as "blind baking". 

The process is pretty straightforward and simple and only requires some advanced planning and extra time worked into your baking process.

GENERAL PIE DOUGH TIPS

If your dough has been refrigerated, let it sit at room temperature for 15-30 minutes to make it more workable. Frozen dough should be thawed in the refrigerator over night then at room temperature for 15-30 minutes. 

If you start rolling your dough and it cracks, let it rest longer to warm up a bit. If your dough seems too soft, pop it back in the fridge for a few minutes. 

TO BLIND BAKE A PIE SHELL

Roll your pie dough out into a circle about 1/8" thick on a well floured surface. Fit into your pie plate.

Using kitchen shears or a sharp paring knife, trim the edge of the pie dough to be about 1" to 1.5" bigger than the outer rim of your pie plate. Tuck the overhanging pie dough under so that there is a double layer of dough at the edge.

Crimp the edge all the way around using the thumb and forefinger on your left hand and thumb on your right hand (or vice versa if you're a lefty).

 

Using a fork, "dock" or pierce the pie shell all over the bottom and sides. The holes created allow steam to escape and will help prevent the pie dough from puffing up as it bakes. 

Refrigerate your crimped and docked pie shell for at least an hour. Don't be tempted to skip this step - it is crucial to the pie shell maintaining its shape and lovely crimped edge when baked.

 

Line your pie shell with parchment paper and fill to the top with dried beans, rice or ceramic pie weights. (Beans or rice can be used over and over again as pie weights. Let cool after use then store in a jar for the next time you bake a pie.)

Bake pie shell in a 350F oven for 20-25 minutes.* Carefully remove the parchment paper and the weights. Return the pie shell to the oven and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes or until slightly golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool completely before filling.

*Or bake according to your specific recipe. 

 

Prepare to Feast!

It's time to start thinking about the greatest holiday of the year (at least in our opinion!). Let us help make your Thanksgiving holiday a relaxing occasion this year. From appetizers to desserts we have kits from our kitchen to help minimize the time you spend in yours over the holiday.

For all the details about our special Thanksgiving Kits along with everything 
coming in next week's boxes, check out the weekly newsletter.

Bellingham Newsletter

Seattle Newsletter

Portland Newsletter

Tips + Tricks for Quick Weeknight Meals

We know how valuable your time is and we want to do everything possible to make it easier for you to both shop AND cook local. We are going to lay out a plan to turn your Locavore Box into quick weeknight meals.  With a little planning and prep, you can make weeknight cooking quick and easy.

The first thing you need to do is gather the supplies you'll need to prep + store your veggies. If you are truly committed to cooking from scratch {which is great to strive for} then definitely invest a little money to buy the tools and supplies that will make your life easier.  Next week we will post a list of our staff's favorite kitchen tools and where you can buy them. Check back!

 

Things you'll need to prep this week's box:

An awesome knife
A large cutting board
A rolling pin
7 - 32oz Ball jars or similar
2 - 8oz Ball jars or similar
1 - 4oz Ball jar or similar
Cheese Grater
Vegetable Peeler 
Clean Dish Towel

Step 1:  Pull out your potatoes, onions, carrots, celery and leeks. Wash, dry and set next to your cutting board.

Step 2:  Prep veggies

     Cube red potatoes and place in a 32oz jar, fill jar with water
     Peel and cube yellow potatoes and place in a 32oz jar, fill jar with water
     Cut leeks in half lengthwise, slice and place in a 32oz jar
     Peel + dice carrots. Add 1/2 to one 32oz jar and 1/2 to a second 32oz jar
     Peel two yellow onions, finely dice, then add to both 32oz jars with carrots
     Peel red onion, reserve half for another use, and finely dice the remainder and add to an 8oz jar
     Dice celery and add to one jar with carrots + onions

Step 3:  Pull out your kale, thyme, rosemary, and garlic. Wash, dry and set next to your cutting board.

Step 4:  Continue to prep veggies

     Peel and mince 5 cloves of garlic. Add 3 cloves to jar with red onion, and 1 clove to each jar with carrots
     Remove and discard stems from kale, coarsely chop leaves and place in 32oz jar
     Pick 3 tsp of leaves from thyme. Place 2 tsp in jar with carrots, onions + celery and 1 tsp in jar with carrots + onions
     Chop 1-2 tsp of rosemary and place in jar with red onions

Step 5:  Pick through garbanzo beans, place in 32oz jar and fill jar with cold water. 

Step 6:  Grate cheese and place in 8oz jar 

Step 7:  Put everything away and you're now prepped to cook for the week.

 

If you know next week is going to be crazy, consider taking your prep one step further.

Cook Your Smoked Salmon Chowder:
This chowder is even better on day two so it's the perfect "make ahead" meal. You'll also love it for lunches!

Cook Your Soaked Beans:
Soak the beans overnight. Drain the beans, put in a pot and cover with cold water by at least 2”. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer until tender. Drain then refrigerate.

Alternatively, you can power soak your beans! Bring unsoaked beans to a boil, simmer briskly for two minutes, remove from heat and cover. Set aside for 1 hour.

Partially Cook Your Shepherd's Pie:
Follow your menu to make both the mashed potatoes + meat filling. With those two things done, all you need to do is assemble + bake!

Partially Cook Your Quiche:
Get a head start on your quiche by cooking up your leeks and rolling out your pie dough. If you have space in your freezer, you can even freeze the dough in the pie dish.

Reserve your cutting board trimmings for stock:
Whatever you do, do not throw away all those veggie trims and pieces. Toss them with leftover herbs, a drizzle of olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast on a sheet pan for 30 minutes. Or, simply cover with water, bring to a simmer and cook for about an hour. Use your homemade veggie stock in this week's Shepherd's Pie or freeze in 16oz containers for future use. Looking for more tips + tricks for stock? Check out this blogpost over at The Kitchn.